Whales and dolphins of the Moray Firth, Day 0, 30 May 2008
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30 May 2008 - Take the last train to Clarksville - Day 0

Friday night, went home for dinner and finalized my packing. Pasta for dinner, a bit of carbo loading before tomorrow. It looks like it all fits on my bike, although the sleeping bag needs to go on the rack. I get to Euston in plenty of time. Less than 30 minutes from Brixton, excellent.

Amber and Stephen are already there when I walk Stephen is keen to go, almost to a psychotic degree. For me, I want to make sure my bike is onboard and then the rest doesn't matter so much. The train is incredibly long (apparently 1/4 mile) and of course it is the coach on the far side. A bit of confusion about which Coach A (two of them next to each other) and who needs to do it, but this was one of the easiest bike storages on a train yet.

My luxury berth.

The situation on the sleeper coach, however. The steward is running in circles trying to resolve booking messes. Some of our group is moved, but I end up with a single (roommate didn't show up, or maybe the booking mess paid in my favor), so I'm very happy. My neighbor is a nice old man (with his wife) and we chat for quite a while, mostly about his sailing experiences, his time in Arizona training during the war, and his life in Australia. He has these crazy eyebrows and I don't see how that one little hair that curls and seems to rub his eye a lot doesn't drive him crazy.

Stephen almost fitting in the corridor.

I head down to the lounge car and everybody else is already ensconced in their drinks. Not enough chairs so I find different ways to not stand for a while while I drink. Eventually enough people leave and everybody gets seats. We drink and get acquainted. Seems like it will be an acceptable group.

A pretty drunken group of stag party weekend guys are in the other end of the lounge car. Adrian! They yell quite a bit and do drunken things We pass through Crewe. We are expecting Duncan to get on there We scan the platform for anybody who looks likely, are you Duncan? How about you? The drunken stag party boys join in. But at that point, Richard joins us in the car. Not Duncan at all. Oops, got our arrivals wrong. So, he becomes Duncan 2 since it would be too much trouble to learn a new name, considering how rubbish I am at that sort of thing.

The lights keep going out in the car. It is actually kind of nice, sitting in the near dark, drinking and chatting. But eventually they kick us out, the lights aren't coming back on. That's fine, we don't mind. No, you should go. So we do.

Back to the sleeper, no roommate, hurray. Still a kind of rubbish sleep, but oh well. So, 6 miles on the bike from Brixton today. And all the rest of it.